We Exist That We May Know Him

Tonight at church, my Pastor gave me (Thanks Robby!) an extra copy he had of Biblical Theology by Geerhardus Vos (1862-1949). I’m very excited to own a copy of this now as my interest in Vos has been peeked in him recently; and partly because I have also been getting acquainted with Owen’s Biblical Theology as well; that is, Biblical Theology versus Systematic Theology. When I got home, I started reading some of the first chapter, Introduction: The Nature and Method of Biblical Theology, and so far it is very good! Right off the bat, Vos reorders our way of thinking about Theology. He orders everything after God, not God after man. Here’s a sample:

God must come to us before we can go to Him. But God is not a personal being in general. He is a Being infinitely exalted above our highest conception. Suppose it were possible for one human spirit to penetrate directly into another human spirit: it would still be impossible for the spirit of man to penetrate into the Spirit of God. This emphasizes the necessity of God’s opening up to us the mystery of His nature before we can acquire any knowledge concerning Him. Indeed, we can go one step farther still. In all scientific study we exist alongside of the objects which we investigate. But in Theology the relation is reversed. Originally God existed alone. He was known to Himself alone, and had first to call into being a creature before any extraneous knowledge with regard to Him became possible. Creation therefore was the first step in the production of extra-divine knowledge.

-Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology Old and New Testaments, page 4


2 thoughts on “We Exist That We May Know Him

  1. Great book – Vos is a model of careful scholarship and solid piety. His exposition of Abraham’s faith will edify you, I’m sure. Looking forward to seeing you (hopefully!) blog on the book in the future.

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